Ghana’s Influential Women Celebrated on Int’l Women’s Day

The 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day was celebrated all over the world on March 8th, with lists of top women featuring powerful women, celebrities and other well known personalities.

Hundreds of events occurred not just on that day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Ghanaian women were not left out of this important day.

Series of events took place which lead to bloggers and civil society organizations in Ghana expressing their opinions/comments on their various platforms.

In Ghana, the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs mandated that the Day should be commemorated with the Ghana Women of Excellence Awards Scheme which saw the First Lady; Her Excellency Ernestina Naadu Mills been the Guest of Honour.

The Awards Scheme was on the theme “Empowering the Ghanaian Woman for National Development” which in essence was to motivate Ghanaian women to strive for excellence in their various walks of life …and to take their rightful places in the national development process.

The scheme formed part of the celebration of International Women’s Day and the 1st Awards ceremony which was held at the Accra International Conference Centre yesterday, 8th March 2011.

Ghanaian Blogger & Bar-Camp Activist; Ato-Ulzen Appiah; author of “The Vim Views & Versions – Blogs of a MIghTy African” blog did an interesting and a well detailed post (with winners/awardees) on the ceremony which saw Dorothy Gordon; Director of Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT been honored for her role in ICT in Ghana.


Dorothy K. Gordon - DG AITI-KACE been awarded

Also, in an interview blog-post by co-founder of Nandi Mobile: Edward Amartey-Tagoe interviewed Farida Bedwei; the author of “Definition of a Miracle” as his International Women’s Day contribution article.

Farida got diagnosed with cerebral palsy and in a community where people suffering from this disease are routinely misunderstood and viewed as incapable of contributing meaningfully to the society; Edward decided to feature her by way of seeking answers to some questions from her.

The CS Monitor of which I occasionally contribute to; also had a self-explanatory article by Ariel Zirulnick which touched on, “What International Women’s Day was all about!

A list of 50 Inspirational African Feminists (pdf) from Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah of African Women Development Fund saw a couple of Ghanaian & other African women doing great things, have achieved success in their own ways and are impacting the lives of many others in their communities and beyond.

Below; I highlight on some of the Ghanaian Women who made it on this list:

  • Professor Abena P.A. Busia : Rutgers University – Uniquely blending feminist activism with creativity and academia
  • Professor Ama Ata Aidoo : Author/Mbaasem (Women’s Words) Production of outstanding African feminist literature
  • Angela Dwamena-Aboagye : Ark Foundation – Operating the only shelter for survivors of Domestic Violence in Ghana
  • Boakyewaa Glover : Writer/Blogger –  Contribution to a renaissance of African women’s writing
  • Dr Rose Mensah Kutin :  Abantu for Development – Demonstrating stalwart leadership on women’s issues
  • Lucy Mensah : Women United Against Aids in Ghana (WUAAG) – Establishing the first HIV& AIDS women only support group
  • Professor Takyiwaah Manuh : Institute of African Studies (University of Ghana) – Dynamic social activism and contributions to academia especially around women’s rights
  • Yaba Badoe : Film Maker/Writer – Directing and producing ‘The Witches of Gambaga’ Documentary, a powerful visual account of the abuse, and exploitation of women accused of witchcraft

Even though, the original list doesn’t include Estelle Akofio-Sowah; I believe she deserves a spot and a mention when Influential Women in Ghana mentioned.

  • Estelle Akofio-Sowah: Team Lead – Google Ghana: Leading a team of Technologists from Google Africa to shape the future of ICT, Internet Policy Fomulation and Mobile internet in Ghana and Africa as a whole.
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Article: The Changing Pattern of Migration in West Africa

[Cross-linked from Future Challenges Organization Article: The Changing Pattern of Migration in West Africa]

When the word Migration (Human Migration) is mentioned in some parts of West African settlements; there’s mixed reaction where people turn to jubilate while others cry in sorrow. Some families in West Africa have seen and tasted the positive side of it meanwhile, others haven’t.

Migration in Africa is dynamic and extremely complex. (Hope you do agree with me on this.) This is always reflected in the feminization of migration, transformation of labor flows into commercial migration and brain drain from the region. Completing this picture are trafficking in human beings, the changing map of refugee flows, and the increasing role of regional economic organizations in fostering free flows of labor. What follows is an overview of some of the most important trends.

Photo of West African Women

It is very difficult, almost impossible or even blasphemous to predict the future with absolute certainty. This is especially true with modern

society where change is a daily occurrence. In the context of West Africa’s future, however, there seems to be an exception to this rule. This is because the patterns are so regular that many West Africans are sure beyond doubt that there will be hunger tomorrow. This hunger is only a step away from chaos. And chaos is a regular pattern in West Africa.

The traditional pattern of migration within and from Africa — male-dominated, long-term, and long-distance — is increasingly becoming feminized. Anecdotal evidence reveals a striking increase in migration by women, who had traditionally remained at home while men moved around in search of paid work. A significant share of these women is made up of migrants who move independently to fulfill their own economic needs; they are not simply joining a husband or other family members.

According to Political Activist & Kenyan Environmentalist: Wangari Maathai;

Women are responsible for their children; they cannot sit back, waste time and see them starve. African women in general need to know that it’s OK for them to be the way they are – to see the way they are as strength, and to be liberated from fear and from silence.

The increase in independent female migration is not confined by national borders: professional women from Nigeria and Ghana now engage in international migration, often leaving their spouses at home to care for the children. Female nurses and doctors have been recruited from Nigeria to work in Saudi Arabia, while their counterparts in Ghana are taking advantage of the better pay packages in the UK and United States to accumulate enough savings to survive harsh economic conditions at home.

The relatively new phenomenon of female migration constitutes an important change in gender roles for Africa, creating new challenges for public policy. For instance, before the outbreak of civil war, an ongoing economic crisis in Cote d’Ivoire did not prevent female migration from Burkina Faso.

This was possible because women gradually clustered in the informal commercial sector, which is less affected by economic crises than the wage sector, where most male migrants work. This emergence of migrant females as breadwinners puts pressure on traditional gender roles within the African family.

With the recent civil unrest in the Middle-East and North Africa (MENA); some African women who traveled to seek greener pastures will be caught in these disturbances. What’s the future like for the uneducated African woman who sees migration as the best tool for curbing poverty in her family? Are there any organizations ready to help, empower and support these women?

Photo Credit:

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